Laura (Riding) Jackson was a widely noted avant-garde poet of the 1920s and 1930s, and was a member of Vanderbilt University's Fugitives Group with Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate. She lived and collaborated with novelist Robert Graves in the 1920's and 30's. Together they operated a small literary publishing press in Majorca and published such writers as Gertrude Stein.
Laura renounced poetry about 1940, married Time Magazine critic and poetry editor, Schuyler B. Jackson, and moved to a small frame home in Wabasso, Florida, where they raised citrus, lived very simply, and worked on a comprehensive study of language until he died in 1968. She continued working on this project after his death, completing it with the assistance of a Guggenheim fellowship. The book was posthumously published in 1997: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words and Supplementary Essays by the University Press of Virginia.
Laura (Riding) Jackson died in Sebastian, Florida on September 2, 1991. She is recognized in Who's Who in 20th Century Literature as, "the mostconsistently good woman poet of all time," and was awarded the prestigious Bollingen Prize for her poetry in1991.
Laura (Riding) Jackson's home was constructed of locally milled Florida pine about 1910 when Indian River County was a wilderness. A good example of Florida's historic "cracker" style of vernacular architecture, it is two stories, approximately 1,400 square feet, and is furnished with her belongings at her death. Toward the end of her life, Laura sold her property to commercial interests to maintain herself, but remained in the house under a lease and the Laura (Riding) Jackson Board of Literary Management bequeathed the house to the Foundation.
See the video "To Let Be and Let Do."
Following her death, the house faced demolition so it was moved to save it as a focal point for the study of literature, philosophy and history, as an example of a disappearing architectural style, and as a symbol of an older, more environmentally-sensitive way of life. The Foundation raised enough money to move the home in August 1994 to the grounds of the Environmental Learning Center, located on an island in the Indian River Lagoon on land leased from Indian River County.
The home is listed on the Friends of the Library USA National Literary Landmark register, a national program to publicly identify places of significant literary history, and on the Florida Humanities Council-sponsored Florida Literary Map.